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July 14, 2012

Review: Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown - Farah

Title: Perfect Escape
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publication date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Young Adult (Realistic Fiction)
Challenges: A-Z, Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 368
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.
Perfect Escape is a very different "realistic fiction" than the most ones I read out there. Kendra, the main protagonist, is always overshadowed by her older brother; Grayson, because of his OCD. Kendra's parents always have to pay extra attention to Grayson because they're always worried something might cause him to get obsessive too much. Because of this, Kendra thinks that she has to be the "perfect" child in order to make up for Grayson's abnormality. One day, Kendra gets herself into a huge mess at school. Worried that she'll get expelled, and ruin her image for perfectionism, she runs away. Though Kendra didn't run away by herself, she decided to take her brother with her and cure him from his OCD. A different routine and different places might make Grayson anxious, but Kendra decided that she'll let him get used to it, and then eventually won't be bothered by it anymore. 
The beginning of the story was very intriguing. Jennifer Brown has made a great deal of describing an OCD patient, because Grayson felt so real to me. Kendra's feelings might seem selfish to some people, but that's how they are. I completely understand both of them, because I've got siblings, and I know what it feels like to be "jealous" sometimes. Even though this was a realistic fiction, it was a fun read because it was a road trip as well. It was fun being in the adventure with them, to get to see all the places and it actually felt like I experienced it with both of them. It was interesting that Jennifer added additional characters through the trip. That way, I didn't get bored at all. 
Overall, it was a great realistic fiction story. True that it didn't move me that much, but it was interesting and fun to read. I have to say it was sad at parts, especially because of the siblings love. It was engaging to read a novel about siblings, and not a novel about a boy and a girl who fell in love. Perfect Escape felt more... how do I say this....It felt more like I was watching a personal life. A family that has problems and issues, so that was a very different view. Perfect Escape was a great read, and I do recommend it to all readers out there!
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  1. A different twist on realistic fiction? I think I might like that :) Great review Farah! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books

  2. Thank you so much for the great review! I'm glad you enjoyed taking Kendra and Grayson's trip with them.

  3. Yay, road trip books. I've been wary of this one, but glad to know that it's worth buying.

  4. I've enjoyed Jennifer Brown so far. You can't go wrong with a road trip novel. While it may not be particularly powerful, it's still sounds really refreshing.